Monday, August 5, 2013

I am That Mom.

My kids are those kids.

We have arrived!

Today I needed to head to Target to pick up a couple of things and just get out of the house. Lena has been taking a super short morning nap the past two days, and if we don't fill up the time, we all start going a little crazy.
As I pulled into the parking lot, I saw a woman putting away a cart and told her I'd take it from her. She saw me loading up my kids and said "oh wow! you have your hands full!" I replied "Oh, I only have two! ...But I guess I only have two hands, so yes. My hands are full." But I was upbeat and positive, because my kids are just so doggone sweet and angelic and darling and polite.

We walked into the store, and Charlotte was bee bopping around, Prancercise style:

She pranced her way over to a Disney Princess shopping cart and was completely fascinated with it. Normally, she has no problem with putting a toy back at the store, but she wanted to push it around. Instead of dealing with a potential spazz attack now, I decided to let her push it around the store while we shopped and then we could put it back later. (I am an idiot.)

At this point, the only mischief she was getting into was bumping into my cart and saying "Cheers!"
Any time she sees two like-objects, she clinks them together does a small toast. It's especially great when she bumps shoulders with Lena in a matching outfit.

I found the items we needed, which included some giant storage containers for their outgrown clothes. The cart was pretty full, and I had the lids of the bins on the rack beneath the cart. It was time for us to check out, which meant it was time to put the beloved princess shopping cart away. 

As we turned down the aisle, Charlotte saw another toy shopping cart and needed to clink them together and shout "cheers!" and while she was putting the less-loved cart back, I secretly took the princess cart and put it back on a high shelf without her noticing. 

A look of panic washed over Charlotte's face as she saw her soul mate-toy went missing. She was calling out for the cart as if it would come wheeling around the corner like her trusty dog. When it didn't appear, she went back for cart #2 and decided that one would do. 

I explained to her that she already has a shopping cart at home. 
I asked her if she brought her money (like $1.25 in change), because she needs money to buy it.
<says no, sobs more>

I was holding Lena during this time since she was sick of sitting in the cart, and I had to put her back so I could reason with the terrorist. A strange lady approaches and actually helped by playing peek-a-boo with Lena while I attempted to talk Charlotte off the ledge.

And miracle of miracles, Charlotte got up off the floor (did I mention she was sitting on the floor? Her latest protest position) and we continued on. About 10 steps later, she decides she is not quite done mourning. She throws her body down onto the floor and starts crying some more. 
Lena continues to cry in the cart. 
I'm crouched down trying to get through to the toddler. "I remember when I was little...."
(This gets her attention EVERY time.) 
"...I would go to the store with my mom. You know, Grandma."
<stops crying>
"It was so hard seeing all of those fun toys at the store without taking them home. But Grandma told me about all of the fun things we could do at home with my toys....." and more lies and more lies and more lies.
<gets up and starts walking>
Ten steps later, she begins to wail again. A crabby old woman looks at me and I tell her that I'm just living the dream. She told me that she had two girls "10 and 3/4 months apart". Instead of getting into the nitty gritty of that, I just said "then you know how it goes." And she agreed and went on her way. 

At this point, Charlotte's face is blotchy and red, she's got drool on her shirt and snot dripping down her face. She shoved the cart so that all of the lids to the bins went flying out and scattered across the floor right near the checkout. I'm doing my best not to lose my shit, and I'm getting my items out of the cart to buy.
I was laughing to the cashier about how I just need to get out of there and as she totaled up my items, I realized I didn't have my debit card. The one that was in my pocket last night. The one that I held and said to a neighbor "I really need to stop putting this in my pocket. I'm just going to forget about it." The one that I put on the counter instead of in my purse "so I would remember it". 

Yes, people. This is my life. I asked if she could suspend the order or whatever so I could run home (thankful, once again, that I live a couple of short miles away). She was able to do so, and I got the whole thing figured out, but seriously.

I'm afraid that this is becoming the norm, as Charlotte has had meltdowns just about everywhere lately. 
So if you have any coping mechanisms, please do share! I could use all the help I can get. 


  1. The success rate for this tactic is about 70%, so it may or may not totally blow up in your face (please don't find me and shank me if it does):
    Do something really delightful with her before you run an errand. This is not intended to tire her out but make it so that you can bribe her with going back to that activity when you get home. It usually takes reminding my daughter of what a blast we were having ("I can't wait to do [activity] again, can you? Let's get [such and such] done so that we can keep having fun!") throughout the store a few times, but that extra effort is well worth it.
    Here's the caveat: it has to be thoroughly enjoyable but not so much that she wont want to leave at all, and it has to be quick. I've used painting, helping me bake, and a scavenger hunt in the yard. The point of these activities is to have an end to one session but it's something that can easily be returned to once home.
    Also, don't lie to her. If you say you're going to let her do it again, do it. It establishes trust and helps keep this little gem working over and over again.

    1. That could work, but I think she was just insane enough to ignore anything rational I may have been saying.

  2. Dude, you have to make them WANT to put it back. You can't hide it from them. Trickery is your friend.

    1. Like how? Tell her there are disgusting maggots in it?

  3. I know it's a rite of passage for mothers everywhere so I'm just waiting for the day when Brayden has a toddler-sized meltdown in a store. (I don't even want to think about what may happen if he does it with Lauren when I'm not there... Lol)

    Right now Brayden is still young enough where a rice cake or cracker will derail him.

    But soon... very, very soon. Sigh.

  4. Oh yes, I know what you speak of. I too have battled the toddler insanity. The first thing you need to remember about toddlers is that they are incredibly irrational. Like the Hulk when he's raging out, except much smaller and cuter. Reason MUST be used in advance to help deflect the crazy before it sets in, which crazy right? It's not.

    Before we went to the store, I would remind E & G that we were NOT getting ANYTHING for them. Every single time, I would say as we walked into the store "remember, we aren't getting anything for you right now. we're just getting bread, tp, wine etc". Then when they asked to play or hold something I would say "you can but only if you remember that we ARE NOT going to get it when we leave. if i let you play with it now, will you promise to put it back without crying or complaining?"

    Well, of course they'd agree! They wanted to play with it. So they would play with it but here's the clincher, I would give them a 2 min warning that they were going to put it back & reminded them again right then that they told me they would do it nicely or I was not going to let them play with something in the store again. That was the deal we had.

    I can honestly say this tactic worked for me like a gem but it took consistency by me to make it all work. My kids were 15 months apart and trips to the store could have been horrific if I hadn't employed this tactic. I will warn you that it has no effect in the Post Office because there is absolutely nothing to play with there and so that's where E & G lost their minds. Every. Single. Time. Good luck!

  5. Hmm I don't have a lot of great advice, mostly because my oldest was never a huge melter-downer or tantrum thrower, unless she was especially tired, but even then she's like, easily swayed so we can negotiate/reason/trick and lie her out of it.

    Although lately she's starting a new I want every toy and I'm so deprived thing at the store. She was wailing that she didn't have enough Barbies (she has three somehow, at the age of four, that people have given her) and I'm kind of mean about it and ignore or laugh it off.